adventure travel blog - 1

We each hold our own definition of adventure. Here, I dedicated to all the moments stepped out of a comfort zone. Stories, places, and situations that pushed limits, whether physically or mentally. Here's to overcoming barriers. One second of bravery can lead to a lifetime of adventure.

One Year of Travel: A Photographic Journey

May 14, 2017

ONE YEAR OF TRAVEL: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY It’s officially been a year since I declined a full-time job after graduation to embark on a life-altering adventure. I could write a book (actually, I am writing a book…eek!) about everything that…

Eight Other Travel Blogs to Inspire Your Wanderlust

April 3, 2017

EIGHT OTHER BLOGS TO INSPIRE YOUR WANDERLUST   When I begin looking for my next destination, I don’t often turn to guidebooks or the Travel Channel. Instead, I gain most of my wanderlust from reading other blogs. Bloggers tend to…

underrated places in the United States - Utah

The Epic Five: Road Trip Utah’s National Parks

March 20, 2017

The Epic Five: Road Trip Utah National Parks Guide 2021 Updated: June 23, 2021 Utah National Parks: Sunrise in Arches National Park   Everything to Know About the Five Utah National Parks  Utah is the state that holds the third…

Seven Things That Suck About Long Term Travel

March 7, 2017

SEVEN THINGS THAT SUCK ABOUT LONG TERM TRAVEL   I dreamt for years about traveling long term. Waking up every day in a completely new environment, without the slightest clue to where I was going next or how I was…

An Inside Look at the Van Life: Q&A

February 27, 2017

AN INSIDE LOOK AT VANLIFE: Q&A   Living in a van isn’t the most usual lifestyle. And with an unusual life comes many questions. Few people will ever understand what living in a van for months on end entails. The…

Bucket List: The Glass Beach of Northern California

February 16, 2017

BUCKET LIST: THE GLASS BEACH OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA There are few places that stand out in such a way it almost seems fictional. For example, a beach made entirely of sea glass. In the quaint (and extremely adorable) Northern California…

adventure travel blog: Shalee Wanders

The Best Places to Visit in the United States: 2017

February 9, 2017

THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE UNITED STATES   I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow I’ve ticked off 42 states on the United States map. You know what that means, right? I’ve got 6 1/2 years…

Please Don’t Ruin This:

January 28, 2017

Below is a selection of photographs showing fragile environments affected by our decisions as a country and world.

A Road Trip up the Pacific Coast Highway

January 3, 2017

A Road Trip Up The Pacific Coast Highway   Oh, California, I have such a love-hate relationship with you. A magical coastline, (mostly) beautiful weather, mountains, redwoods, orcas, and oceans. There aren’t many places in the world where Christmas Day…

Making Travel Photos Insta-Worthy

December 5, 2016

MAKING TRAVEL PHOTOS INSTA-WORTHY   I take travel photos. I’ve never put on make-up for a photo. Usually, I’m hiking, sweating, probably unshowered and may or may not have shaved my armpits in the last three days. I have a…

European towns: Cheb, Czech Republic

8 Alternative European Towns to Visit

November 13, 2016

8 ALTERNATIVE EUROPEAN TOWNS TO VISIT We all know about Paris and Rome. We’ve added Santorini and Cinque Terre to our list of “must-see” places. Twenty years ago these sights were busy, today they are a tourist hell. Sure, some…

How to Renovate a Van into a Home

October 31, 2016

HOW TO RENOVATE A VAN INTO A HOME   I’ll always look back and remember that my first home was a van. Nearly two months after arriving back to Michigan from Europe, I am preparing to embark on yet another…

Around Europe in 90 Days

October 18, 2016

AROUND EUROPE IN 90 DAYS (VIDEO)

What Happens in Europe…

September 25, 2016

WHAT HAPPENS IN EUROPE…   Three months in Europe comes with a lot of memories (and mishaps). When beginning a journey of such magnitude, you know that along the way you will create stories both good and bad, and come…

How to Visit 25 Countries for Under $3,500

September 6, 2016

How to Visit 25 Countries For Under $3,500 Updated March 23, 2020   When you leave to travel an entire continent for 90 days, you come home feeling as if everything has changed, even though it hasn’t. That was me…

Mount Olympus: A Trek up Greece’s Highest Mountain

August 8, 2016

MOUNT OLYMPUS: A TREK UP GREECE’S HIGHEST MOUNTAIN   And I peeked over the edge, only to realize that a thousand-foot cliff waited for me on the other side. I was roughly 400 vertical feet from the summit of Mount…

European towns: Quedlinburg, Germany

Traveling Europe on A Budget

July 31, 2016

Tips for Traveling Europe On a Budget January 25, 2020   You’ve journaled price estimates, added every quarter to your travel fund, and mapped out exactly where you want to go. You have dreams of a classic European backpacking adventure,…

The Island of Cies

June 15, 2016

THE ISLAND OF CIES   Arriving in Europe on June 2nd with no plans, no itinerary, and a limited budget was probably one of the scarier things I’ve done while traveling. I’ll admit that although I’m not a planner (or…

how to travel cheap

Red River Gorge Cabin Life: Treehouse Edition

May 26, 2016

Best Red River Gorge Treehouse + Cabins Updated: April 14, 2021   Last week I returned to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for some climbing and exploring. On my first visit last October, I fell in love with the…

An Alternative Graduation: Hot Air Ballooning

May 9, 2016

AN ALTERNATIVE GRADUATION: HOT AIR BALLOONING   I’m a college graduate, guys. I’M A COLLEGE GRADUATE. Whew. What a weekend. Last week my pending graduation was finally beginning to hit me. My Facebook feed was filled with classmates taking pictures…

Travel Essential Packing List

May 3, 2016

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST

An Audition to Be the Director of Toughness

April 14, 2016

AN AUDITION TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF TOUGHNESS   A while back I auditioned for Columbia’s Director of Toughness and made it all the way to the final round. It was one of the most unique experiences, although it has…

Behind the Blog: How to Start your Own

March 29, 2016

BEHIND THE BLOG: HOW TO START YOUR OWN It’s new and relatively unknown. Blogging is a concept many people are trying, but not many know what they’re doing. It’s evolved significantly in the past few years, and the future looks…

Fathom Travel: A New Kind of Adventure

March 21, 2016

  Recently I took a trip that included beaches and mountains, but not the kind you’d typically find me on. This was a new adventure, one that wasn’t your typical vacation. I’d never been on an impact trip. I had always…

How to Save for Your First Big Adventure

January 6, 2016

HOW TO SAVE FOR YOUR FIRST BIG ADVENTURE   You’re dreaming of it, right? You want to lie on the beaches of Thailand, skydive over the mountains of New Zealand, picnic next to the waterfalls of Iceland, and camp under…

Over 550,000 views in 2015! THANK YOU.

December 30, 2015

OVER 550,000 VIEWS IN 2015! THANK YOU! I can’t believe 2015 is almost over and I can’t believe I have been blogging for almost two years. When did this happen? Where has time gone? My site stats for the year…

A Family Affair: International Adventure Travel

December 10, 2015

Guest post: Jake Oliver. There’s nothing I love more than family holidays; the chance to visit exotic regions and discover new cultures alongside my favourite people in the whole world! It turns out I’m not alone; according to the Family…

lighthouses in Michigan

Six Best Lighthouses in Michigan

December 3, 2015

The Six Best Lighthouses in Michigan January 25, 2020   When I’m old, frail, and slightly senile, I want to be a lighthouse keeper. I want to have a cat named Indiana Jones, a beautiful view of a lake, and…

How to Conquer Iceland on a Budget

October 21, 2015

HOW TO MAKE ICELAND AFFORDABLE     1. Tent it How cold do you think Iceland is? The answer is not as cold as you may think. Tenting is completely doable in the summer months and will save a traveler…

VIDEO: A Trip Around Iceland With Strangers

September 28, 2015

Iceland’s Ring Road: The Adventurers Dream

September 2, 2015

ICELAND’S RING ROAD: THE ADVENTURERS DREAM Iceland is like a nature IMAX film on steroids that is also the supermodel of life’s landscapes. It is simply stunning, almost to a point where I forgot I was actually living. It’s where…

8 Things Backpacking Teaches Us About Life

August 5, 2015

8 THINGS BACKPACKING TEACHES US ABOUT LIFE     1) Rewards don’t come easily We hike miles for hours, days, and weeks to summit high points, discover new places, and reach destinations. We choose not to experience the world from…

how to live the van life

Eat Nothing and Climb Everything: Budgeting in America’s Southwest

July 25, 2015

EAT NOTHING AND CLIMB EVERYTHING: BUDGETING IN AMERICA’S SOUTHWEST     Yes, it’s true…America’s southwest is full of tour buses, selfie sticks, crowded parking lots and heat strokes. Why would anyone want to visit such a place? Because it’s really…

Secret caves Michigan

5 Adventures in Every Midwest State

June 24, 2015

5 ADVENTURES IN EVERY MIDWEST STATE   12 states officially claim the Midwest as home. Although we may not have towering mountains or vast oceans, we are spoiled with lush forests, freshwater and unpopulated blissful hikes. So set the remotes…

A Day Guide to Acadia National Park

June 18, 2015

A DAY GUIDE TO ACADIA NATIONAL PARK   If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen how much I absolutely loved Acadia National Park (and Maine in general). There are a lot of states I visit and love, yet…

I Climbed a Mountain to Reach a Parking Lot (and Loved it)

June 3, 2015

I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN TO REACH A PARKING LOT For the past four hours, I’ve been sweating, swearing and falling my way up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. I see the summit and just as I’m about…

My Most Embarrassing Moments: Travel Edition

April 16, 2015

MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS: TRAVEL EDITION Ahhh, traveling….an adventure filled with excitement, smiles and accidentally falling in an airplane bathroom. You know, it happens to the best of us. You’ve all seen where I go and what I do but…

5 Weekend Adventures Outside Michigan

April 7, 2015

Michigan is great. We’ve established it. But sometimes it’s needed to get out and go exploring beyond the boundaries. We all know how busy life can be, and the thought of a reality-escaping adventure can seem far from possible. Well,…

A Date Luging in Muskegon!

March 6, 2015

A DATE IN MUSKEGON: LUGING!     You’ll be seeing me in the next Olympics. (not really…) Buttttttt….my boyfriend Josh and I recently got to experience what it’s like to luge! You know, that sport they race down an icy track…

Secret Winter Getaway-Sandusky

February 26, 2015

SECRET WINTER GETAWAY: SANDUSKY   It’s cold. Really, really cold. Last weekend, I went down to Ohio and explored Sandusky with Lake Erie Shores & Islands and lucky enough, temperatures stayed above 0 for the first time in what felt like forever.…

How Fear Made Me Live

February 18, 2015

HOW FEAR MADE ME LIVE   Fear. It’s the one thing that everyone observes and avoids, though they secretly want to overpower it. It’s been over a year now that I have been writing to you and I feel that…

How to Capture Travel Moments: 11 Tips

February 10, 2015

11 TIPS FOR CAPTURING TRAVEL MOMENTS   Every time someone tells me they think I take amazing photos I just want to hug them. It’s probably one of the best compliments I get just because it’s something I love to…

10,000 Feet and 17 Miles: Grand Canyon

January 27, 2015

10,000 FEET AND 17 MILES: HIKING THE GRAND CANYON   It was Christmas Eve. We made it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in an impressive time. It was just after 9:00 a.m., but we had already conquered the…

Vortexes and Visions: Bell Rock’s Hidden Story

January 14, 2015

“I believe I exist within a holographic reality program, an intelligently designed futuristic entertainment simulation, for which I directly programmed certain experiences, relationships, lessons and issues before I was born. Looking back over my life – I’ll be 73 in…

Solo Female Travel Hawaii

January 3, 2015

Solo Female Travel Hawaii   In October, a fellow blogger asked me if I had ever been to Hawaii. My response: “No, and I’m not sure if I ever will. It’s just so expensive to fly to such a small…

The 7 Best Sites for Budget Travelers

November 11, 2014

THE SEVEN BEST SITES FOR BUDGET TRAVELERS   I often get questions from readers (and friends) asking what sites I use to find the best deals for budget travel. I have many favorites and it’s hard to narrow down to…

The Michigan Bucket List

October 21, 2014

THE MICHIGAN BUCKET LIST   Perhaps the most underrated state in the United States. For those that live here, we know how special it is. I’m just going to get straight to the point here with my Michigan Bucket List.…

10 Essential Items for a Road Trip

September 29, 2014

10 ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR A ROAD TRIP Road-tripping is one of the best feelings. It doesn’t matter where you are going, or how long you plan on staying, the journey to your destination is part of the adventure. When taking…

An Hour of Darkness

September 8, 2014

AN HOUR OF DARKNESS I am lucky enough to see the world. All of us are not that lucky. This time, I don’t mean see the world through travel. I mean really see. I get to see the mountain which…

Solo Travel New Zealand Tips

Why to Travel When You’re Young

August 4, 2014

WHY TO TRAVEL WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG   You know what I hate? When people tell me traveling is for retirement. HA! HA HA! pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. (cue big eye roll) Right after “you can’t travel because you have no money”, this issue…

Shalee Wanders, LLC 2019